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STREET SMARTS
Aug 9th, 2009 by Liza Wiemer

photo-1Wisdom from the Streets of San Franciscophoto

No, I’m not shy.  Yes, I actually stood on the street and asked strangers to share their best advice for young adults.  Thanks San Francisco!  Note:  The photo on the left is of actor Wylie Herman in front of Alamo Square.  The photo on the right was taken at a bus stop on Powell Street.

Actor Wylie Herman

“I took an alternate route after high school.  I chose to skip college to pursue my acting. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, because it’s risky.  But it did work for me.  I don’t have any regrets, not at all.  But there was a time when all my friends were in college doing their thing.  There was always that sense, well, should I be in college?  But, I was doing what I love to do – so why not continue doing it?  So I did.” 

“My advice is to follow your heart, follow your dreams.  Do something artistic.  Most people have some kind of artistic inclination, so follow it as far as you can.”  

In addition to acting in films, TV, and theater, Wylie Herman gives movie tours of San Francisco.  Click on this site for further information.  http://www.sanfranciscomovietours.com/ 

“Don’t get into things before you’re ready to handle them or because of peer pressure, especially sex or drugs.  You should be in control of your decisions, so ask yourself if you’re ready for the consequences.”  Richard, 39

If you’re absolutely sure you want to do something, then do it.  If you have any doubts, don’t do it.  Obviously, if you don’t want to do something, don’t do it.”  James, age 42

“Love is not what you get, but what you give.”  James, age 42

“Life is far too short for fear and all that stuff that might hold you back ’cause you feel you don’t know what you’re doing.  Guess what, not too many people know what they’re doing when they pursue their dreams.  Just do it.  I should have been afraid to move to San Francisco from the other coast.  There was nothing rational or practical about it.  My heart and soul were telling me it was the right thing to do.  It was the little voice inside saying forget the rational and just go for it.  It turned out to be the best thing I have ever done.  In the end, I met the love of my life and have been very successful.”  James, age 42

“Listen to music that speaks to you.  But know that what you listen to says a lot about you.  So, my recommendation is to listen to music that inspires you in good ways and doesn’t promote all the negative stuff in life.”  Anonymous 

“This past weekend I had some friends over for a party.  One of my friends was a regular user of GHB (Date Rape Drug) and he overdosed and died.  He was 34.  I didn’t even know that he had slipped it into his drink.  The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was meet his mother and sister at the coroner’s.  He had been a long time user of drugs.  You think that it will never happen to you.  But it can, it very well can.  My best advice is don’t start using drugs, because you don’t know if you’ll end up in my friend’s shoes.  Jimmy, age 39

My advice:  If there is something you really want to do in life, don’t let someone dissuade you from doing it.  I really wanted to move to San Francisco from England.  My mother was very unhappy about the choice and tried to get me to change my mind.  I am certain she acted that way out of love and concern.  I glad I didn’t let her pressure dissuade me from moving here.  That was eight years ago.”  Josie, age 32

“My father said, ‘The world is run by the people who show up!’  I think that was great advice.”  Jay, age 30

“My parents divorced and I lived in Canada with my mom.  I didn’t care about school and hung out with the wrong crowd.  My mother sent me to live with my father in San Francisco – and I continued with the same behavior.  I found the same types of kids here.  What did I learn from this experience?  Avoid peer pressure by following what you feel is the right thing to do.  I got caught up in the peer pressure and things didn’t change for me until after high school.  My life would have been better and much easier if I just listened to what I thought was right, instead of following the crowd.”  Brendon (City Rent-a-Car), age 27

“I didn’t get along with my parents when I was growing up. Actually, I hated them and thought they were completely full of it.  They valued education and I could have cared less.  Plus, I struggled with ADD.  My parents never lowered their expectations of me.  They wanted me to go to college and pushed me to understand that an education brings value to your life.   I ended up going to college, getting a degree in Political Science, and now I work on environmental issues.  My mother is a independent woman.  She once told me that it is important for me know who I am.   She also said do for yourself first, but don’t forget to do for others too.  I think my mom’s a wise woman.  The greatest lesson I learned was that parents often know best.  Looking back, I am so grateful that they wanted me to get an education, that they never stopped believing in me.   They were right, going to college turned out to be a great thing for me.” Kimberly, age 28

“If you have a problem in life, don’t just go to your peers for advice. Have an open mind. Don’t get locked into one opinion that you can’t hear what others have to say.  Get many different opinions and perspectives before you make up your mind.  Seek adults you can trust, people you respect – perhaps teachers, clergy, family friends, or family members.  Once you’ve heard these different opinions, you are better equipped to make a sound decision.  Remember, the best decision may not be the one you might have wanted to hear.”  Harold, age 40   

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